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Oklahoma State football: Cowboys' defense shows a lot of promise

Offensive line, cornerback and running back positions lack depth.
BY GINA MIZELL Published: April 21, 2013

STILLWATER — Oklahoma State concluded spring practice Saturday with an Orange-White spring finale that featured a vanilla offense and a dominant defense.

After 15 practices, here are three things we've learned about the Cowboys and three questions that still remain as we head into the summer and fall camp.

What we learned

The defense is more aggressive

Sure, the Cowboy offense wasn't operating as quickly as it will in the fall and barely dipped into the playbook. But there were still several signs of the more aggressive defense that coach Mike Gundy has been pushing for since elevating Glenn Spencer to defensive coordinator. The OSU pass rush tallied eight sacks, three quarterback hurries and one forced fumble. The defensive backs consistently played closer to the receivers and were responsible for two interceptions and nine pass breakups. It's also worth noting that two projected starters — end Tyler Johnson and outside linebacker Ryan Simmons — did not play Saturday.

Young talent at receiver and cornerback

Tracy Moore and Josh Stewart made their expected plays, combining for 10 catches for 119 yards and a touchdown for the Orange. But redshirt freshman Jhajuan Seales led the White with six catches for 49 yards and sophomore Brandon Sheperd was just behind with five grabs for 43 yards. At cornerback, senior Justin Gilbert's inspired performance — where he collected two interceptions and 108 total yards on those returns — was particularly encouraging. But sophomore Ashton Lampkin was impressive with three pass breakups, while fellow sophomore Kevin Peterson is the projected starter.

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